NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A funeral was to be held Friday for Zymere Perkins, 6, whose death in Harlem sparked outrage across the city when news broke that calls to help him had fallen through the cracks.
Zymere was found dead in his family’s apartment late last month. Prosecutors said a preliminary autopsy showed the boy had several broken ribs, old injuries and was severely malnourished. Prosecutors alleged that he was beaten with a broom handle by his mother’s boyfriend.
As CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported, a wake was held at 4 p.m. at the Church of the Open Door in Downtown Brooklyn, and a funeral was to follow at 7 p.m. at the Lawrence H. Woodward Funeral Home in Brooklyn.
CBS2 is told members of the NYPD 30th Precinct helped raise money for the funeral.
At the wake, Zymere was described as a happy kid who liked superheroes – as many boys his age do.
Mourners brought a heart-shaped flower arrangement to the church for the wake, and hugged one another.
The boy had apparently suffered years of abuse before he died on Sept. 26. The Administration for Children’s Services had previously received five child abuse complaints, but no action was taken.
In the last week, the actions of several city agencies have been probed, including the NYPD.
At ACS, five people were placed on administrative duty until the investigation is completed.
Those attending the wake said they could not quite process what happened.
“He was joyful; playful. He used to run around; laugh; play. He loved his Superman and his Batman. He used to give you little wet kisses all the time. So I mean like, he was a great kid. He was a normal kid. I knew him from the age from 4 to 5,” said family friend Yvette Perez. “I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m disappointed. I have mixed feelings “
Mayor Bill de Blasio also announced a series of ACS reforms, including new training for case workers; appointing an outside team to provide oversight of child protection; and giving guidance to teachers about reporting abuse.